Although Amelia Earhart remains the best-known female pilot of the 1930s, Jacqueline Cochran stood as the more important aviation pioneer and America’s top woman pilot. Among her many accomplishments, Cochran was the first female aviator to win the Bendix Air Race, to fly a bomber, to break the speed of sound, and to participate in astronaut training. This revealing biography explores Cochran’s childhood in an impoverished Florida mill town, her early career as a pilot, and her role in creating and leading the WASPs during World War II. It also chronicles her postwar exploits, including her participation in the NASA space program, her unsuccessful 1956 bid for Congress, and her surprising reluctance to crusade for the advancement of women. This detailed profile, removing Cochran from Earhart’s shadow, firmly establishes the aviatrix as a pivotal figure in the history of women in aviation and in war.
Spaceflight historian Amy Shira Teitel tells the riveting story of the female pilots who each dreamed of being the first American woman in space. When the space age dawned in the late 1950s, Jackie Cochran held more propeller and jet flying records than any pilot of the twentieth century—man or woman. She had led the Women's Auxiliary Service Pilots during the Second World War, was the first woman to break the sound barrier, ran her own luxury cosmetics company, and counted multiple presidents among her personal friends. She was more qualified than any woman in the world to make the leap from atmosphere to orbit. Yet it was Jerrie Cobb, twenty-five years Jackie's junior and a record-holding pilot in her own right, who finagled her way into taking the same medical tests as the Mercury astronauts. The prospect of flying in space quickly became her obsession. While the American and international media spun the shocking story of a "woman astronaut" program, Jackie and Jerrie struggled to gain control of the narrative, each hoping to turn the rumored program into their own ideal reality—an issue that ultimately went all the way to Congress. This dual biography of audacious trailblazers Jackie Cochran and Jerrie Cobb presents these fascinating and fearless women in all their glory and grit, using their stories as guides through the shifting social, political, and technical landscape of the time.
Revives the overlooked stories of pioneering women aviators, who are also featured in the forthcoming documentary film Coming Home: Fight for a Legacy During World War II, all branches of the military had women's auxiliaries. Only the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program, however, was made up entirely of women who undertook dangerous missions more commonly associated with and desired by men. Within military hierarchies, the World War II pilot was perceived as the most dashing and desirable of servicemen. "Flyboys" were the daring elite of the United States military. More than the WACs (Army), WAVES (Navy), SPARS (Coast Guard), or Women Marines, the WASPs directly challenged these assumptions of male supremacy in wartime culture. WASPs flew the fastest fighter planes and heaviest bombers; they test-piloted experimental models and worked in the development of weapons systems. Yet the WASPs were the only women's auxiliary within the armed services of World War II that was not militarized. In Clipped Wings, Molly Merryman draws upon military documents—many of which weren’t declassified until the 1990s—congressional records, and interviews with the women who served as WASPs during World War II to trace the history of the over one thousand pilots who served their country as the first women to fly military planes. She examines the social pressures that culminated in their disbandment in 1944—even though a wartime need for their services still existed—and documents their struggles and eventual success, in 1977, to gain military status and receive veterans’ benefits. In the preface to this reissued edition, Merryman reflects on the changes in women’s aviation in the past twenty years, as NASA’s new Artemis program promises to land the first female astronaut on the moon and African American and lesbian women are among the newest pilot recruits. Updating the story of the WASPs, Merryman reveals that even in the past few years there have been more battles for them to fight and more national recognition for them to receive. At its heart, the story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots is not about war or planes; it is a story about persistence and extraordinary achievement. These accomplished women pilots did more than break the barriers of flight; they established a model for equality.
Help your child hit new heights in test-taking with Spectrum Test Practice for grade 3. Aligned to current state standards, this workbook gets kids ready using practice tests, online exercises, tips, examples, and answer sheets genuine to the real math and language arts assessments. By providing an authentic test experience, you’re helping your child build the skills and confidence to exceed assessment expectations. Spectrum Test Practice provides everything kids need to take on testing—including online practice pages, customized by state and grade-level.
“With the fate of the free world hanging in the balance, women pilots went aloft to serve their nation. . . . A soaring tale in which, at long last, these daring World War II pilots gain the credit they deserve.”—Liza Mundy, New York Times bestselling author of Code Girls “A powerful story of reinvention, community and ingenuity born out of global upheaval.”—Newsday When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Cornelia Fort was already in the air. At twenty-two, Fort had escaped Nashville’s debutante scene for a fresh start as a flight instructor in Hawaii. She and her student were in the middle of their lesson when the bombs began to fall, and they barely made it back to ground that morning. Still, when the U.S. Army Air Forces put out a call for women pilots to aid the war effort, Fort was one of the first to respond. She became one of just over 1,100 women from across the nation to make it through the Army’s rigorous selection process and earn her silver wings. The brainchild of trailblazing pilots Nancy Love and Jacqueline Cochran, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) gave women like Fort a chance to serve their country—and to prove that women aviators were just as skilled as men. While not authorized to serve in combat, the WASP helped train male pilots for service abroad, and ferried bombers and pursuits across the country. Thirty-eight WASP would not survive the war. But even taking into account these tragic losses, Love and Cochran’s social experiment seemed to be a resounding success—until, with the tides of war turning, Congress clipped the women’s wings. The program was disbanded, the women sent home. But the bonds they’d forged never failed, and over the next few decades they came together to fight for recognition as the military veterans they were—and for their place in history.
This latest volume brings the project up to date, with entries on almost 500 women whose death dates fall between 1976 and 1999. You will find here stars of the golden ages of radio, film, dance, and television; scientists and scholars; civil rights activists and religious leaders; Native American craftspeople and world-renowned artists. For each subject, the volume offers a biographical essay by a distinguished authority that integrates the woman's personal life with her professional achievements set in the context of larger historical developments.